SP Hosts 2023 Innovation Summit in Columbus – Part 2

Hosted in collaboration with The Ohio State University on its campus in Columbus, Ohio over July 26-27, the 2023 SP Innovation Summit brought together over 350 representatives from automakers, tiered suppliers, service providers, government and academia to discuss key opportunities to accelerate collaborative efforts in support of industry sustainability goals. Check out our prior post for information on the first day’s events.

On July 27, SP Summit Committee Co-Chairs Vickie Lewis (VMX International) and Bob Crawford (GWT Insight) welcomed attendees to the second day of the Summit. They highlighted the winners of SP’s 2022 Awards and encouraged attendees to submit their projects for consideration in the 2023 SP Awards program.

The opening plenary session began with keynote speaker Jalonne L. White-Newsome, Senior Director for Environmental Justice, White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) speaking to the Administration’s commitment to advancing environmental justice.

She was followed by a second opening keynote from Ben Grumbles, Executive Director, Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) providing a state perspective on innovation and sustainability.

SP’s Director Kellen Mahoney then moderated an Innovation Showcase session where speakers provided succinct sustainability-focused innovation pitch presentations, including:

  • START: Paramita Das, Head of Metals & Minerals, Marketing, Development and ESG, Rio Tinto
  • Decarbonization of Plastics: Jesse Henry, CEO, Heartland Industries
  • Industrial scale, flexible and low carbon technology to recycle all battery materials: Ludwig Minassian, Business Development Manager – Licensing & Partnerships, Lithion Recycling
  • Solving the Looming Battery Metals Supply Crisis: Oliver Gunasekara, CEO & Co-Founder, Impossible Metals Inc.
  • Water Flow Intelligence: Ben Riley, Senior Marketing Manager – Global Transportation and Paul Balent Global Senior Corporate Account Manager, Transportation, Nalco Water, An Ecolab Company

Attendees selected Jesse Henry of Heartland Industries as the audience choice award winner for his presentation in the Innovation Showcase session. SP made a contribution to One Tree Planted to plant 100 trees on behalf of Heartland Industries in recognition of his great presentation.

The day’s afternoon plenary session began with a panel discussion on building a more secure and resilient supply chain through strategic application of water stewardship best practices, and included updates on SP’s water stewardship initiatives. A following panel discussion then explored emerging trends toward a product-centric view of carbon in automotive supply chains. Featured speakers in the afternoon panels included:

  • Lisa Hansen, Manager, US/Canada, Environmental Quality Office, Ford Motor Company
  • Mark Yamauchi, Sustainability Manager, Toyota Motor NA
  • Doug Andrews, Global Energy and Environmental Manager, Lear Corp.
  • Matthew Howard, VP Water Stewardship, The Water Council
  • Martin Chilcott, CEO, Manufacture 2030
  • Michael Faltenbacher, Head of Transportation & Mobility, Sphera
  • Nicole Labutong, Principal, Climate Intelligence, RMI
  • Juan Luis Pardo Gonzalez, Senior Project Manager, Drive Sustainability
  • Alissa Yakali, Supply Chain Sustainability Manager, Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, LLC

Dr. Ginger Rothrock, Vice President, HG Ventures provided the closing keynote for the event and shared her experience from a venture capitalist perspective in Investing in Transformative Innovation.

Throughout the second day of the event, Summit attendees had the opportunity to participate in a series of smaller group interactive breakout sessions across three tracks:

  • Addressing Sustainability in ZEV Transition. This track focused on challenges and opportunities in proactively identifying and addressing holistic environmental impacts in the transition to zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs).
  • Demystifying Decarbonization. This track focused on challenges and opportunities in measuring and advancing decarbonization efforts across the value chain on the path toward carbon neutrality.
  • Catalyzing Circularity. This track focused on challenges and opportunities in accelerating industry efforts towards a circular materials economy and incentivizing innovation in sustainable materials.

The second day’s breakout session speakers and moderators included representatives of organizations such as: American Axle & Mfg., Arkema, Ecoclean, Electramet, Foresight Management, General Motors, Impact Collective Group, Magna International, Robert Bosch, Rumpke, Strikowestofen, The Ohio State University, and Toyota Tsusho America.

SP Summit Co-Chair Bob Crawford and SP Board Chair Kevin Butt closed the event by thanking all of the sponsors, volunteers and SP staff members for their support, and inviting attendees to work together with SP to take action to address the ideas and opportunities shared for sustainable improvements.

A special thank you to each of our sponsors for their support of this year’s event, including: The Ohio State University, Rio Tinto, Toyota Motor North America, Cirba Solutions, Envita Solutions, Li-Cycle, Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company, ORBIS, Univar Solutions, Edison Energy, Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, Nexus Circular, ARPLANK Direct, and Manufacture 2030.

All event photos by Shellee Fisher Photography.

SP’s next membership meeting is scheduled to be held on September 18-19 at General Motors in Warren, Michigan. As always, SP members and collaborators are encouraged to reach out to learn more about how to get involved in SP work group activities and initiatives and to share your ideas to keep moving us toward our shared vision of an automotive industry with positive environmental impact.

Additional information on the Summit, including event photos, presentations and next steps, is available to current SP member companies. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about SP and opportunities to participate as a member.

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